Tags: Gibson | federal | probe

Gibson Guitars CEO Blasts Justice Dept Probe

Thursday, 13 Oct 2011 12:15 PM

Gibson Guitars CEO Henry Juszkiewicz has come out swinging against the Department of Justice’s raids of the guitar maker’s Nashville and Memphis facilities as part of an investigation into the company’s alleged importation of restricted types of wood.
The investigation could lead to layoffs, outsourcing, and higher guitar prices, the company warns.

Justice first raided Gibson back in 2009, seizing a shipment of Madagascar ebony in enforcement of the 100-year-old Lacey Act, which protects endangered species of plants and animals.

Juszkiewicz told the press during August 2011 raids that the government wouldn’t say exactly how his company might have flouted the law.

“We had a raid with federal marshals that were armed, that came in, evacuated our factory, shut down production, sent our employees home, and confiscated wood,” Juszkiewicz was quoted as saying. “We’re in this really incredible situation. We have been implicated in wrongdoing and we haven't been charged with anything. Our business has been injured to millions of dollars. And we don't even have a court we can go to and say, ‘Look, here's our position.’”
“It’s a zero-sum game,” Juszkiewicz told DailyCaller.com. “You don’t create money out of thin air. So a dollar that goes to lawyers in Washington, D.C., is a dollar that comes out of our consumers’ pockets, period.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has blasted the Justice Department for its Gibson investigation, but has been stymied by potential ethics issues.

“Their predicament is if they get involved, they may be accused of stepping over those ethics rules and advocating for a client in criminal proceedings, which is a no-no,” Juszkiewicz told the Caller.

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